Gladstone’s Library – Food Thoughts

It’s taking me a while to work through all the words I wrote whilst at Gladstone’s Library a few weekends ago, but here’s another bit of my musings – I remembered I hadn’t yet posted it when I found myself checking the time & thinking “Not long before 5, I’ll have to start prepping dinner in a bit”…

One of the real luxuries of staying at Gladstone’s Library this weekend has been the food. Not so much the specific type of food, which has been more of the ‘whole & hearty’ school of cooking than that which I might cook at home, but the fact it’s there. It’s provided and available exactly at the advertised times, and I don’t have to divert any thinking away from my writing. I can just keep typing (or plotting, or sketching, or whatever specific writing-activity I’m currently involved in) then, at the appointed time, simply hit ‘save’ and go and eat.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to cook. Absolutely adore it. It’s as much a creative outlet for me as writing is, and I will happily spend hours in my kitchen playing & creating flavours & textures, and even washing up & suchlike can be great time for letting the brain tick-over, but the simple fact of our household having a default of me being the one who cooks (not because husband doesn’t or doesn’t want to – he does, and he’s very good at it, I just get a bit territorial about ‘my’ kitchen) means an awful lot of my time is taken up with planning, preparing, and cleaning up after food while husband continues with whatever job he’s busy doing – sometimes the job which pays the bills can keep him working until long after other people in similar roles have clocked off (the ‘joys’ of working from home), other times it’s DIY jobs around the house & garden – until I call him in for food.

I think this was brought home to him on Friday evening. At least, I received a text from him after 10pm which said he was only just sitting down to dinner, having been busy working on completing our polytunnel and forgotten that I wasn’t there to cook dinner for both of us…

So yes, there are many things to love about a stay at Gladstone’s Library, and many advantages which even a short stay here can bring to one’s writing, but for me – and, I suspect, many other women writers in particular – the ease with which meals can be obtained without interrupting one’s work-flow in any way is definitely high on my list of reasons to return.

(I might even dare to take down from the shelves and read some of the old books in the library on another visit – this time I just revelled in the feel and smell of their presence then scurried back to my little garret room to write.)

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